Archive for March 6th, 2012

Electoral reform: Towards fairness and a level playing field

— Francis Loh
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 06, 2012

MARCH 6 — From the outset, we wish to clarify that Aliran is a member of the Bersih 2.0 coalition and one of our exco member sits in its Steering Committee.

In this regard we fully endorse the Eight Demands of the coalition to usher in free, fair and clean elections in Malaysia. We support Bersih 2.0’s call that these demands should be addressed before the next elections are held. We have also gone through Bersih 2.0’s submission to the Select Committee and fully support its recommendations.

For Aliran, elections in Malaysia have been generally free although there have occurred instances when voters have complained that they were denied their right to vote on polling day because their names had been removed from the rolls, or that they had been transferred to other polling stations or districts without their awareness. In the last election there were also allegations that some had not had the opportunity to vote because the stations had not remained open long enough for people to cast their votes. However, there have rarely occurred instances when ballots boxes have gone missing or that large numbers of people have been prevented from voting. Read the rest of this entry »


How Effective Has the Enforcement of the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010(WPA) Been in Malaysia?

by Lim Guan Eng

Political Will, National Commitment And Even Personal Obligation Rather Than A Single Law Such As The WPA Will Determine Whether Integrity In Leadership Centred On An Ethically Based Society Can Be Established

It gives me pleasure to speak to you today at this 4th Annual Corporate Governance Summit organised here in Kuala Lumpur. I have been asked to speak on the issue of the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2010 (or “WPA”) which was passed by the federal Parliament and has been in force in Malaysia since December 2010.

Many of us here who are interested in corporate governance will have been captivated by the ongoing saga of alleged corruption and mismanagement in the RM250million National Feedlot Centre project. This is a corporate governance issue as well as a national governance issue. The question is will there be any action taken or will be it just be another case of of the RM2.52 billion losses incurred by MAS without anyone being punished and even those that caused losses such as Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli being let off the hook.

Danaharta had agreed to settle with Tan Sri Tajudin on February 14 without enforcing a High Court decision on December 2009 in Danaharta’s favour ordering Tan Sri Tajudin to pay RM589.14 million to Danaharta, over a loan taken to purchase MAS. Where is the moral hazard?

I think I can summarise my view of the WPA by saying that is not so much a Whistleblowers Protection Act but rather a “Whispering to the Police Act”. Read the rest of this entry »


Revoking aid to disabled is ‘illegal’

Joseph Tawie | March 6, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

An assistant minister’s order to revoke aid to a disabled man in Sarawak because he supports the opposition contravenes the federal constitution.

KUCHING: A minister in Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s cabinet may have landed himself in hot soup after it was revealed that he had instructed two departments to revoke government extended subsidiaries and welfare aid to a disabled man who had supported an opposition candidate.

Sarawak DAP, which lodged a police report against Assistant Minister of Agriculture (Research and Marketing) Mong Dagang last Friday, said the minister has contravened the law.

Mong had allegedly directed, through a letter, the Assistant Director of Agriculture in Sri Aman to cease all forms of subsidies to Frusis Lebi.

Party secretary Chong Chieng Jen said DAP want the police to investigate Mong for his ‘heinous crime’. Read the rest of this entry »


Mahathir’s Disastrous Financial Speculation

By Our Correspondent | Monday, 05 March 2012
Asia Sentinel

A murky and embarrassing case is closed, hiding top government officials’ involvement

Sometime over the next few days, a court in Kuala Lumpur will put the finishing touches to an agreement that allows Tajudin Ramli, the former head of Malaysian Airline System, not only to walk away from charges that he had allegedly looted the airline of tens of millions of US dollars but with an RM580 million (US$293.2 million) out-of-court settlement from the government.

It appears to be a settlement that the government would rather keep to itself. At the heart of the agreement with Tajudin is a convoluted story that began as long ago as the 1980s when Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, at the urging of then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, began speculating aggressively in global foreign exchange markets, at one time running up exposure rumored to be in the region of RM270 billion — three times the country’s gross domestic product and more than five times its foreign reserves at the time.
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When old men start cheerleading

By Gomen Man | March 06, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

MARCH 6 — Is it a coincidence that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Daim Zainuddin have suddenly taken to being cheerleaders of Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Umno?

Isn’t it a sad day when the prime minister has to rely on a former prime minister whose legacy is in tatters and a former finance minister who was more of a wheeler-dealer than a stellar minister for his affirmation?

Wasn’t it not too long ago that Mahathir was telling everyone who would listen that Umno was corrupt from top to bottom? In addition, it is an open secret that in private meetings he has chastised the indecisiveness of the Najib administration, the “leakages” and the grabby mentality of the politically-connected.

But apparently the man famous for bringing down leaders as opposed to nurturing them did not want to take down Najib ala Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi because he knows that any move to weaken Najib will only benefit his nemesis: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
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